By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Illumination Entertainment has not had a massive hit outside of the Despicable Me franchise. The Secret Life of Pets (now available on Amazon) was kind of fun, but a lot of the good parts was given away in the trailer. Sing is their latest and it is so far not making the charts. While there’s a lengthy story to bring the lives of five anthropomorphic animals together to win a contest, there was not a lot of plot short of turning this film into the animated equivalent of Glee.
This film is more like a celebration of all those television shows that follow the America’s Got Talent mold, but this time it includes a bit of back story about the lives of the top five talents. Had this film been a television show, more drama could have been added and the lives could have been better explored.
Sing boasts an impressive 52 plus song soundtrack, but not all of them will be featured in the album release. Trying to find them all throughout this movie will certainly be the highlight when it hits video. Queen‘s “Under Pressure” and Elton John‘s “I’m Still Standing” certainly has me giving this product a thumbs up.
I loved the mouse Mike (Seth MacFarlane) crooning ala Frank Sinatra. The porcupine Ash (Scarlett Johansson) makes for a great punk-rocker. The gorilla Johnny (Taron Egerton) is moreorless Justin Timberlake, and while I prefer a talent from out of West Side Story, at least the background story development for this mobster’s kid is in the right place. To round out the cast, Rosita (Reese Witherspoon) is a pig who can dance and Meena (Tori Kelly) is a very sheepish Elephant who can really sing. The message about overcoming obstacles is certainly a positive one, and nobody will know how good they are until they try.
3½ Stars out of 5